Iowa soldiers who helped liberate France in World War Two were honored in a ceremony at the state capital Monday. French Consul General Dominique Decherf says they began planning the ceremonies for each state in 1994, after the 50th anniversary of D-Day.
Decherf says 55-years later, the French people still remember the American effort.
John Gualtier of Vinton says he went into the war as an innocent 18-year-old.
His says his life changed when his unit encountered and helped those held in the German concentration camps in Austria. Gaultier was in the Army’s 71st infantry division. George Henning of Jefferson was part of the 14th armored division.
They had 21 tanks and his job was to rescue the tanks if they ever got into trouble. Henning returned to France in 1977.
He says there was a lot anti-American sentiment until the French found out he had been part of the liberation force. Then Henning says they were given royal treatment.